The return to Genkai's was a joyous one. Kari was immediately devoured by hugs from Yukina and Keiko, both of whom were sobbing uncontrollably. After appeasing their tears and assuring Keiko that everything would be all right, the questions began. However, the group would receive no answers from Kari or Hiei. No, Kari had excused herself almost immediately to take a shower and Keiko had been waiting outside the bathroom door for well over an hour. Just as she was about to give up, Kari pushed open the door.

"I have never wanted a shower so much in my life," Kari muttered as she towel dried her hair, another towel wrapped around her.

"I can't believe you didn't run out of hot water," Keiko said and pulled herself up from the floor.

"I can't believe you have been sitting out here the whole time. Scared I was gonna drown?" Kari joked and fixed Keiko with her amber gaze. Keiko flinched back a bit, still not used to her friend's new appearance. Now that Kari had removed the layer of blood and grime she came home with, Keiko could see her tattoos were actually far more extensive than she first believed.

"Keiko?" The brunette jumped as Kari began to step around her, eyeing her warily.

"You just look different," Keiko blurted out and her cheeks turned crimson. Kari laughed and glanced down at herself.

"Right? Honestly, I probably spent ten minutes checking out my eyes in the mirror."

"I don't know how you are going to cover all...that," Keiko motioned to Kari's arms, "for school. It's too hot for long sleeves."

"Is school all you think about?" Kari griped but Keiko just smiled. Kari gave her a small smile in return. She couldn't fault Keiko for wanting a normal life.

"Oh! I forgot!" Keiko jumped and reached back to the floor. Standing, she offered the leather bound dragon book. "Hiei asked me to keep that safe for you."

Kari didn't move to take the book; she only stared down at the tome with a look that Keiko couldn't quite name.

"Kari?" the girl jumped, apologized, and finally took the volume carefully.

"Thanks, Keiko," she muttered, eyeing the book and turning her back on Keiko. "I'm gonna try to get some sleep, ok?"

"Uh, yeah. Of course," Keiko replied, confused by Kari's sudden change in demeanor. Maybe more had changed than just Kari's appearance. Keiko watched Kari disappear around a corner and sighed. Life was going to be very different for them all.

"That is mighty rude, you know," Kari joked as Hiei slid her door open without knocking. She was lounging on her bed, dressed in a tank top and shorts, and the dragon book in one hand.

"You know it's me. I don't have to knock," the demon challenged with a smirk and slid the door closed behind him with a soft smack. Kari smiled and tore her eyes from the page she had been reading to look at him.

"Oh? And what if I had been 'indecent'?" Kari retorted playfully. It wasn't so easy to make Hiei blush, though; his red eyes glinted dangerously at her insinuation before he flashed forward and slipped into the bed with her.

"You must be tired," he said, slipping an arm behind her and pulling her close.

"Yeah, I am," Kari replied with a yawn but re-opened the book, turning the page slowly. "But, Cetus said to 'read the book.' I wanna know that these marks are." Kari enunciated and held up her wrist, letting the black dragon on her wrist show.

"What have you found?" Hiei asked, forgetting his lust and letting his eyes rove over the page before him.

"Nothing, yet," Kari answered and sat up. "Watch this, though." The girl focused her gaze on a small snow globe depicting the Tokyo skyline, a souvenir from a class trip, on the chest of drawers across the room. She stretched out her hand, palm up.

"Veniat ad me," Kari said sternly. The snow globe jerked from the dresser and flew across the room, soaring past Kari and shattering against the wall behind her.

"Oops," she winced as the liquid and glitter trickled down the wall. "What did I do wrong?"

Hiei looked back and forth from the destroyed trinket and Kari, eyes wide.

"How the hell did you do that?" he asked. Kari grinned and opened her mouth to answer when there was a knock on the door.

"Yes?" she called. The door slid open and the knocker stepped inside, eyeing the couple carefully. Hiei tightened his grip on Kari.

"What is it?" The visitor was silent for a moment.

"I think you two could be in trouble."

Yusuke and Kuwabara were just about to dig into the steaming breakfast Yukina and Keiko were laying out when Koenma burst through the kitchen doors.

"Yusuke! Where is Kari?!" the prince demanded, huffing and puffing as if he had sprinted all the way from the spirit world.

"The hell?! What are you doing here, Koenma?" Yusuke barked, surprised that the royal teen was there at all.

"I don't have time for questions! Where is she?" Koenma continued as sweat beaded on his forehead and he clenched his fists nervously at his sides.

"I think she is still in bed. What's wrong?" Keiko asked, fear creeping into her chest. The girl jumped as several large energies flashed into her mind. Koenma hung his head.

"It's too late. They're here."

Yusuke and Kuwabara leapt from the table and bolted through the temple; Koenma and the girls tagged behind them. Slamming open the front doors, they were greeted by the austere faces of the SDF.

"You best have a good reason for coming to this temple without an invitation," Genkai, who was already present and facing the soldiers, snapped viciously.

The apparent leader, a woman with short cropped white hair and steely blue eyes set in a dark face, sneered. The soldiers behind her, twenty at the very least, were all tense as they took in the group. The leader's eyes fell to Koenma.

"Prince Koenma, surely you are not aiding and abetting a wanted criminal of the spirit world, sir?" the leader's voice was deceivingly light. "We have direct orders from King Yama, sir. I cannot have you interfere."

"What orders?" Yusuke growled, his hands balling into fists. The leader shifted her eyes to the half demon.

"We are here to arrest the girl, Kari, for the murder of the SDF team sent to demon world. She is to be transported to spirit world and I have been given permission to tear down anyone, demon or human, who stands in our way."

"That won't be necessary."

The groups collectively turned to the voice. Kurama strolled from the temple doors, hands in his pockets and an air of ease about him.

"Kurama? What are you talking about?" Kuwabara asked, eyeing the redhead carefully. Some of the SDF soldiers tensed as Kurama continued forward but the leader only stood taller.

"Give us the girl and-"

"She's not here." The leader snarled at the demon's words. Kurama's eyes lit with mischief and many of them swore they could see a glimmer of gold in their depths. The fox extracted a disk from his pocket and tossed it to the leader, who caught it deftly.

"Search the temple and the mountain all you want, but Kari is long gone. You will find you answers on that."

"This is not over," the leader swore before turning to her squad. "Troops!"

"Right!" they all chimed. The soldiers glowed for a moment and then rocketed up into the air. The leader gave one last glare to each of the group before she, too, disappeared.

"Kurama?" The redhead glanced down to Yukina. The ice apparition was looking to him fearfully. "Kari is really gone?"

Kurama sighed and pulled another disk from his pocket.

"Yes, but she left this. For all of us."

Kuwabara placed the disk into the DVD player and pressed play. Suddenly, Kari's face lit up the screen. She looked to be in her room at the temple and the window behind her was dark, showing it was rather late.

"Hey, guys! If you're watching this...I'm dead." Keiko and Yukina gasped but Hiei appeared in the frame, scowling.

"Kari," he warned and the girl shot him sheepish smile.

"It's a joke!" she laughed and shooed the demon away. Hiei exited the screen and Kari turned back to them.

"Ok, no. I'm not dead and I'm planning to stay that way. However, it has come to my attention that remaining here in human world might not be the best idea."

"Do you want this?" Hiei's voice rang off screen and Kari turned to the side, nodding.

"Yeah, and the blue one, too." Kari turned back to the screen but a shirt came flying from the side, landing on her face.

"Can't you put that in my bag?" she fumed, tugging off the offending article and glaring. Hiei appeared behind her and peered into the screen.

"What are you doing?" he growled, irritable. "I thought you made one of these already."

"That was for King Yama's punk ass." The group couldn't help but chuckle at Kari's comment. What could possibly be on that disk?

"We gotta say goodbye to our friends," Kari continued. Hiei gave her another look and snatched the shirt back.

"Hurry up." Kari grinned, leaned up, and pressed a kiss to his lips. Hiei kissed her back briefly before he exited the frame.

"What the hell?!" Kuwabara screamed, jumping up from the couch and pointing at the screen. "Did they just-"

"For those of you who aren't aware," Kari interrupted, smiling on screen again and cutting off Kuwabara's protests. "Hiei and I are a thing. Been that way for a while, too. So. Kuwabara, sit back down."

The teen blinked and reluctantly sat back down.

"Ok, gotta make this quick," Kari said, getting back to business. "Hiei and I are together, we are going to demon world, and I don't know when we are coming back, "Kari rushed on, ticking the statements off on her fingers as she spoke. The girl clapped her hands together and smiled again.

"That's about it! I'm sorry we couldn't stick around longer but I have it on good authority that the SDF will probably be here in the morning to arrest me and/or exile Hiei to demon world." Kari lowered her hands and continued to smile at them all.

"I really care about all of you," Kari took a deep breath and glanced off screen, her eyes far away. "I wish I had time to explain what all has happened but even I am not really sure exactly what the tattoos or the 'jacked up eyes' mean." Yusuke grinned a little and continued watching alongside his friends as Kari said her last goodbye. Kari looked back to the screen.

"I can't make any promises about when or even if Hiei and I will come back here."

Keiko could feel herself tearing up but she tried to push it down as Kari carried on.

"But please know that I want all of you guys to keep going. Don't hold back from something that makes you happy; I'm definitely not."

Hiei watched his sleeping partner with half lidded eyes, trailing his hand across her side as she lie next to him. He traced out the swirling silver tattoos that danced across her abdomen and let his eyes wander over her body; trailing from her soft, tranquil lips down to her sheets covered hips.

Their journey to the safe house had been long. From Genkai's temple to the portal to this isolated stretch of demon world, Hiei had expected Kari to be exhausted as they ran through the night but she had kept stride with him with no complaints. They had arrived to the safe house just as the demon world sun was rising over the mountains beyond and, even then, Kari had not been tired. Of course, that had not lasted long.

Hiei let his eyes trail back up to her neck. It was littered with dark hickeys, marks left behind in their love making. No doubt he was sporting some of his own; turned out Kari was prone to biting while in the throws of passion.

His red eyes flickered up to Kari's face as he felt her tremor with a suppressed giggle.

"That tickles," she murmured with a small smile, her own eyes barely opened against the light filtering in. She looked to be glowing again, like she had on the roof during the Obon Festival, but this time is was the demon world's setting sun that made her glow. A wind, rich with the scent of his homeworld blew through the open door behind her. Kari's hair splayed across her face and he brushed it away to see her face. He loved the shade of her eyes now. Where her green eyes had always been peculiar and lovely, the golden hue suited her far better, in his opinion.

Hiei grunted and pulled the girl against him, nuzzling his nose into her hair. Kari pressed herself closer to him and trailed her nails along the tattoos on Hiei's chest.

"Think our friends watched the video yet?" Kari asked, grinning sleepily. She felt Hiei chuckle low in his chest.

"Probably." She shifted to see his face.

"And you thought it was a silly idea," she challenged, still grinning. Hiei gave her a bemused smirk.

"No, I didn't. I said it was stupid, not silly." Kari smacked the demon on his bicep indignantly but Hiei just kept smirking. Kari huffed and crossed her arms, turning her nose up at him. She was so fiery and beautiful.

"Kari…" Hiei tried, nuzzling his nose against her neck. Kari cringed back and tried to remain strong. Hiei grinned and ran his hand back down her side, loving the feel of her bared flesh.

"Meito…" Hiei purred and planted a hot kiss to the junction of her shoulder and neck. He felt Kari shiver at the attention but she wasn't going to give in so easily. Hiei pushed himself closer, melding his body to hers, and nipped at her tattoo covered collarbone.


"Yes, Guardian?" Kari replied sweetly and finally looked into his face. Hiei smirked and let his hand travel beneath the sheets, cupping his hand around her thigh. Swiftly, he pulled her leg over his hip, pulling them even closer than before. Kari blushed, feeling Hiei's interest pressing against her belly.

"Is that how I gain your favor now?" the demon asked and ground himself against her. Kari stifled her own groan of arousal by reaching up and nibbling on his earlobe.

"Only when you are bad," she whispered hotly. Hiei moaned and rolled them over, eliciting another giggle from the girl beneath him.

"In that case," Hiei murmured as Kari wrapped her arms around his neck, "I am downright beastly."

Author's note: And that's a wrap! Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read this fic. Dragonborn started out as a side project to reduce stress for my wedding but has since turned into a full length work that I find myself quite proud of.

My number one question since my last post has been "Will there be a sequel?" Well...yes. I have an idea for a sequel in the works. I love Kari and Hiei's story so much that I have extended it into another full length work but it will probably not be out for a while. I do have two more fics (Yu-Gi-Oh, if anyone is into that) in the pipeline and an original work I have been toying with for some time now.

Until next time, thank you again for reading and please leave a review or message me. I love to hear from readers!